Protect Your Insurance by Protecting Your Online Reputation
With the popularity of social networking, people are sharing more of their personal lives than ever before. Your updates can read like a photo album tracking the passing of time: Pictures of new houses, new babies, and the documentation of all of your prized possessions, all on display via update or photos on Facebook and Twitter. Social media has become a way to keep up with the digital neighbors, and it’s easy to get caught up in the whirl of posting every detail of your lives.
The problem begins when the matter of your electronic privacy conflicts with real life. Case in point? Life insurance companies are taking to the deep Web to source out the online reputation of their clients prior to providing insurance policies. In some cases, insurance policies are withdrawn and policies canceled due to an individual’s Internet reputation. This article will detail how insurance companies define risk, and how social media has changed the playing field when it comes to you purchasing or collecting on an insurance policy. Use the information layed out here to protect your insurance by protecting your online reputation.
Taking a risk with your online reputation
Insurance companies issue policies on the basis of risk. Risk can be defined in different ways, but the bottom line is that you are assessed based on how far you deviate from what is defined as a ‘normal’ person. Risk management has become a science, with companies employing actuaries to assess and plan for various pitfalls that can happen in one’s life or to one’s possessions. In the terms of life insurance, policies are declined based on risky behaviors such as smoking, excessive drinking, or health problems. With personal possession insurance, those who take chances with their cars or even homes are more likely to be declined, as the risk is perceived as too great. In the past, insurance companies making a decision on policies had to rely on simple medical tests and the information provided by the client. In the age of Web 2.0, brokers are taking to their computers to source out personal information about you and your behaviors prior to providing you with a policy or a policy payout. Yes, most people feel that due to privacy laws that they have some ability to control their online reputation, but what you tweet can hurt you when it comes to insurance companies. So, protect your insurance by protecting your online reputation.
Insurance can be denied based on your Facebook updates
Life insurance is the best option to protect your family, and the average person who passes the medical tests has an affordable premium. With the popularity of social networking, even if you do not disclose on your application details with regard to your life style and hobbies, insurance companies are finding out for themselves by monitoring personal online profiles. If you stated when applying for your policy that you don’t participate in extreme sports, but then post a photo of yourself hang gliding over the Grand Canyon, you might have a problem with your life insurance agency.
Car insurance is meant to protect your vehicle as well as compensate you should you be in an accident. Although fault in car accidents is generally decided long before you receive a settlement package, insurance companies will perform a type of reputation monitoring that is designed to catch any inconsistencies in your side of the story. Many an injury settlement has been declined due to a claimant stating that they had sustained a severe back injury, only to post pictures of themselves a week later throwing their children in the air.
The unthinkable can happen and the time may come for yourself or your family to collect on a life insurance policy. Prior to paying out, you can be sure that the company will perform due diligence by checking the online reputation of the deceased and ensuring that the terms of the policy were held to. In cases like these, status updates and photos that show a lifestyle contrary to what you stated when applying may hinder your ability to collect on a policy.
Opening the door to thieves with status updates
You insure the contents of your home to protect your possessions from theft, fire, or natural disaster. Yet the popularity of Facebook and Twitter has driven up home content insurance premiums because homeowners are unwittingly contributing to the rise in break-ins and theft. Many a victim has fallen prey to thieves after posting a status update stating that they will be away for the weekend. For those who don’t follow recommended Facebook privacy settings, status updates are available for any thief who may be waiting for an opportunity to enter your home. Insurance companies are now warning that if you post these types of updates on social media sites, your premiums will increase or you will be denied your policy.
The smart approach to social networking is to take your digital privacy seriously by avoiding certain type of status updates on Facebook and Twitter. Meaning, protect your insurance by protecting your online reputation. Does the world really need to know that you like to jump out of airplanes in your spare time? As well, stay clear of posts that show your home address, vacation plans, or even your birthday. Would be thieves can take this information and run with it.
Allow your online reputation to shine
Insurance is a part of life. For many, it is a requirement that allows them to sleep peacefully at night, safe in the knowledge that their family and possessions are protected. To be denied insurance can cause undue stress, and in the cases of insuring your personal property, render you unable to properly use your vehicles or maintain a mortgage on your home. Online reputation management has never been so important. To ensure that you put your best foot forward with your Internet reputation, try ReputationDefender’s My Reputation package. My Reputation provides you with updates of any new and existing references to you online, giving you and your family peace of mind. It will ensure that you protect your insurance by protecting your online reputation.